Memorable Manitobans: Edwin Godfrey Phipps Baker (1885-1963)
Born at Winnipeg on 21 April 1885, eldest son of George W. Baker and Jeannie Harward Eastman (1863-1895), he attended Carlton and Fort Rouge public schools and St. John’s College School. A keen athlete, he played hockey for the Victorias Hockey Club. He joined the Bank of Montreal as a clerk at the age of 16, leaving five years later to article in his father’s law office. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1911 then spent some time attending University College in London, England. In 1913 he was admitted as a solicitor in British Columbia and practiced law at Victoria until August 1914, when he joined the 5th Garrison Artillery involved in coastal defences during the First World War.
He went overseas with the 47th Canadian Infantry Battalion and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross. After the war, he took a special course in law and economics at Caius College, Cambridge before returning to Winnipeg to practice with his father’s firm of Hough, Campbell, Ferguson, Dilts, and Baker where he remained for the rest of his life. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1942.
On 15 June 1921, he married Mary Allison Hough, daughter of J. S. Hough. They had four children: John Phipps Baker (c1923-2011), Peter Godfrey Phipps Baker (c1925-c2010), Stephen Phipps Baker (c1929-?), and Miriam Phipps Baker Blair (c1931-?). He served as President of the Law Society of Manitoba in 1948 and ran unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate in the federal elections of 1935 and 1940. He was a member of the Manitoba Club (President, 1937-1938), Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club (President, 1926-1927), Union Club, and Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club.
He retired to Victoria, British Columbia in 1961 and died there on 20 October 1963.
Attestation Papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
The Law Society of Manitoba, 1877-1977, edited by Cameron Harvey, Peguis Publishers Limited, 1977, pages 253-254.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 October 1963.
We thank Jane Mather for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 March 2019
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